• Lake Co. approves plans for off-road race track, despite resident concerns


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - Lake County leaders approved plans on Tuesday to build an off-road race track, despite concerns from nearby residents.

    People who live off County Road 561, south of Clermont, said there will be too much noise. But, in a 3-2 vote, commissioners gave Off Road Adventure the green light.

    "If you lived in this area, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be having this hearing today because you would not want this in your back yard," said homeowner Michael Levine. "This is going to make our lives in this neighborhood miserable."

    Residents asked the county commission to stop the construction of an off road race track on their neighbor's hay farm.

    "This is not a racing type of environment," said track consultant Mark Townsend. "These cars are all street legal vehicles."

    Townsend is a project consultant for off road hummer experience.

    Visitors would be able to drive the big SUVs around a track full of twists and turns and developers insist the trucks are no louder than any other daily driver.

    The farm covers 500 acres, but neighbors who live along the edges say noise carries -- and they don't want a track dug out of the environmentally sensitive green swamp.

    But some county leaders said the developer's property rights are important, too.

    "I don't agree that when the green swamp protections were put in place, they took away everybody's rights," said Lake County Commissioner Leslie Campione.

    Developers said drivers will not be allowed to race each other. They hope to open the track next month.

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    Lake Co. approves plans for off-road race track, despite resident concerns